Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thoughts and recipe

I've been busy worrying about deadlines and money.

Thankfully, that's all I have to concern myself with. I have food fresh from the farm every week and I have a house to live in.

Aren't we lucky, living here in California? Today, I shelled fava beans and prepared them for a dinner with pasta and green garlic. I had a wonderful salad of mixed lettuces with farm fresh eggs for lunch. I look forward to a dinner tomorrow of onion tart and Bloomsdale spinach salad. No complaints on that front.

I imagine farmers are always worrying about money and, well, not deadlines exactly, but the calendar. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to have everything riding on the success of seeds.

I went to the school garden yesterday where I volunteer and all the pea plants were falling over with the weight of peas. The kids quickly harvested them all. A farm would be infinitely more complex.

Karin Robert sent me this message last week:

Here is a recipe out of the Saveur May 2008 issue on Cyprus:

I have adapted this recipe by adding shrimp, adding green garlic instead of green onions and garlic, omitting the parsley, omitting the lemon and adding freshly grated parmesan reggianno cheese at the end.

Horta me Avga (Sauteed Eggs and Greens with Lemon)

This simple dish, a favorite of home cooks across Cyprus, makes a light repast that's ideally suited to the country's hot climate. Trim a few inches off the top of 6 green onions (or green garlic); each onion should measure about 6" long. Halve green onions (green garlic) lengthwise; cut each half crosswise into 1/8"-thick strips. Set aside. Crack 5 eggs into a bowl. Heat 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onions (green garlic) and 3 bruised cloves garlic (omit if using green garlic); cook, stirring frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add 9 cups loosely packed arugula and 1 tsp. kosher salt; stir, until greens are wilted, about 1 minute. Quickly add eggs and 3 tbsp. roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley; stir vigouously to break up yolks and whites. Let cook, undisturbed, for 30 seconds. Break eggs up a bit with a spatula. Let cook until set, about 30 seconds more. Tansfer to a bowl, squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon over top, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper (and parmesan reggianno cheese). Serves 4-6.

I usually add the shrimp towards the end so it doesn't get overcooked. It is a fun recipe to play around with and add or omit what you like.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Fantastic Opportunity

Renewing America’s Food Traditions:
Gary Paul Nabhan in conversation with Ashley Rood

Followed by a tasting of heritage foods from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Wednesday, April 29 from 6 to 8:30 pm

Hosted by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture

Gary Paul Nabhan may be best known by farmers’ market fans for the pioneering Southwestern locavore experiment he described in Coming Home to Eat. He founded the Renewing America’s Food Traditions alliance (RAFT) and edited the book by the same name. Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods is a journey across our continent’s 13 distinct food nations that details over 90 endangered plant and animal foods and brings them to life with cultural histories, folk traditions, and historic recipes. In this conversation with sustainable agriculture advocate and contributing writer Ashley Rood, Nabhan will offer tidbits and tales of renewal from the book, discuss biodiversity in California, and remind us how our food choices can support a region’s distinct culinary identity.

The presentation will take place in the Port Commission Hearing Room, second floor of the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
Books will be for sale by Book Passage.
Tickets: $10 (plus $1.24 service fee) from

"Renewing America's Food Traditions gives us a great food adventure to embark on—really no less than discovering ourselves through foods that we didn't even know were, in some way, ours. And what an amazing adventure this is!" Deborah Madison, from the foreword

Gary Paul Nabhan is a world-renowned ethnobiologist, food and farming advocate, conservationist, and writer whose work has been translated into five languages. The author of Why Some Like It Hot, Coming Home to Eat, Where Our Food Comes From and many other books and articles, he has been honored with a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and The John Burroughs Medal for nature writing. Founder and facilitator of the Renewing America’s Food Traditions collaborative, he is currently a Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is the spring here yet?

It may seem to many of you that winter is still here. However, although we are still eating a lot of greens, they have changed in nature. We have moved from rapinis (although we still get some) to the softer greens like the awesome Bloomsdale spinach and the delicate mixed leaf lettuces.

My favorites for the past 2 weeks have been the baby bok choy. I spent the day on Saturday at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market extolling the virtues of these leggy but tender little bites of spring. I was eating them raw while I spoke. I just couldn't seem to stop! The amazing thing about this to me was that I normally am not a bok choy fan. These, though, I find irresistible. The stems are sweet, the flowers are bright and cheery.

I made a light, brothy soup with mine for lunch yesterday but I could have eaten the whole bunch in a salad. Try the hot dressing I included in the newsletter. I want more!